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/ February 25, 2010
The Best of Netflix Instant Watch: Documentary Week

This week we bring you three documentaries, but really only one documentary, one mockumentary, and one half documentary, half X-Rated Marshall McLuhan reference. I ask you, what could be sexier than a naked Robert Forrester?

American Movie
It took me the longest time to believe that this wasn’t fake. This is a documentary about a Wisconsin director-wannabe and his spacey, burnout friend struggling to finish their low-budget D-grade horror short-film, Coven. They are “financed” by Uncle Bill, a confused old man who says some truly awesome things. Check it out if you have two eyes, two ears and a heart. Everybody make happy!

Big Man Japan
This is a movie about a man who attempts to protect Japan from evil giant monsters by transforming into BIG MAN JAPAN. Obviously not a mockumentary. It’s actually a classy spoof on Kaiju (strange monster) movies like Godzilla and the like. The main character can get big, but it’s not always so useful being big. Sometimes you get big at inappropriate times, and then you just have to kind of hide it until you eventually get smaller again. It’s a movie that teeters between being cleverly subtle (he sells adspace on his body), and outrageously flamboyant (he fights a giant penisy monster). The best parts are when he fights monsters, such as the comb-over monster, the one-legged Alec Baldwin’s head monster, the strange flavor monster, and the final fight scene, which is so legendary that I don’t want to spoil it. It DOES involve kicking babies and wearing spandex. Oh…so much spandex.

Medium Cool
This movie is Really Cool. Fully Cool. Cool. It’s cool! It was made in that time when people unironically used the term “psychedelic.” You’ll see a side to roller derbys you don’t normally get to see, and of course there’s that infamous X-rated scene… the director Haskell Wexler films part of the movie amidst an actual riot at the DNC, blurring the lines between fiction and non-fiction, questioning the nature of journalism, and all that stuff you’d like to see in a thinkin’-man’s movie. In fact, it was so politically controversial that it was initially given an X rating. If that’s not what you were expecting when I promised you an X-rated movie on Netflix, don’t worry, there are still some boobies in there.